Single Hop #5: Calypso and Lancaster Brewers SMASH Experiment

IMG_0295My next batch is going be part of my homebrew club’s next experiment.  I’m also going to go ahead and count it as number five in my single hop series.  The club bought a bunch of newer varieties of hops and came up with a recipe.  Everyone was given the opportunity to pick one of the varieties of hops and brew the recipe with them.  I ended up with Calypso hops.

The recipe is a SMASH beer, with a single type of malt and one variety of hop.  The malt is Briess 2 Row Pale Malt.  This is a pretty basic base malt.  It is definitely not without character and flavor, but it isn’t something that is normally given center stage.  Despite being the only malt here, that is still the case.  While we’re calling this a SMASH experiment, the real goal is to test out these different hops and the single malt is just an attempt give them as much room as possible to shine.

As with seemingly all new American beers, I’d call this beer, by default, an IPA.  It is on the lower end of the gravity scale for that style, but otherwise it fits in pretty neatly.  The hop schedule is the same for each version, which makes me nervous for mine.

These Calypso hops are listed at 15.4% Alpha Acid.  With the schedule called for in the recipe, that calculates to a crushing 114 IBUs.  While realistically, I won’t get nearly that much efficiency, this is still going to be a very bitter beer for the approximately 5% ABV provided by the malts.

These hops are described online as having aroma similar to pears and apples.  It was bred through some other experimental hops and Nugget.  I will admit to not knowing much about the hop breeding process, but yes, Nugget.  That is about all I got out of reading a few paragraphs about the breeding of this hop.  Nugget was in there somewhere.  Nugget is definitely not known for fruity, pear and apple like flavors and aromas, so those other, unreleased hops must have contributed most of the final character.

I am planning to brew this beer tomorrow, March 4.  The club will be sampling all of the different versions at our meeting on April 29.  I don’t have much else to say about this beer until then.  Once my version is ready, I’ll try to post tasting notes for it before the meeting, before I am influenced by the other versions.  Then, of course I’ll have a big post about all the different versions.  The recipe, in the form of a phone pic of the handout, is below.



2 thoughts on “Single Hop #5: Calypso and Lancaster Brewers SMASH Experiment

  1. The club experiment seems a little flawed, which you seem to already suspect with the different alpha acid percentages of the hops. But the other thing is that all the brewers doing this recipe will most likely have varying brewhouse efficiencies on their systems. So if everyone uses the same weight of grain, everyone’s OGs will be all over the place, thus adding another variable on top of the different hops and their AA strengths. To really compare the different hops and get rid of these other variables, each brewer should adjust their grain weights to hit the same target OG. In addition, the hop weights should be adjusted based on the particular hop being used, at minimum for the 60 minute addition, to add the same level IBU’s. I would suspect, as you do, that if you brew the recipe as written, it will probably turn out a bit harsh on the bitterness. Interested to hear how this turns out.


    • Sorry, I should have mentioned about the grain bill. Ten pounds is listed as an estimate, everyone is trying to hit 1.050 OG and will adjust the weight of the grains to work with their systems. I stuck with the ten pounds.

      I don’t think that the experiment is flawed, necessarily. It just depends what kind of information you’re trying to get out of it. If I were brewing this beer for myself, I would use a much smaller bittering charge and much larger aroma charge at the end of the boil. That is one reason that I am excited to try this recipe, though. It is not something I would do on my own.


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